Acer's Aspire E1-572-6870 is a good, but not great budget laptop
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Acer's Aspire E1-572-6870 is a good, but not great budget laptop

Laptops
Hey, there. I'm Josh Goldman and this is what happens when you mix old and new components in a laptop. The Acer Aspire E15726870. For around $450, it's the least expensive 15-inch Windows 8 laptop we've seen with a 4th generation core i5 processor and Intel HD 4400 Integrated Graphics. Those were the specs we've seen in several higher- end ultrabooks we've tested but the rest of the E1 is pretty low-end. The shell is plastic and has considerable flex outside and inside. The glossy 15.6-inch LCD doesn't get all that bright and has a 1366x768 resolution and isn't a touchscreen. The touchpad is okay but its buttons are only clickable on the ends and similarly its speakers are good but fire downwards, so whatever surface you're on, lap or desk, the sound is muffled. There's no optical drive even though there's a spot for one and despite the new power-saving processor, its battery life taps out between 3 to 4 hours. Now, that stuff is pretty minor and not unexpected given its price and there are some positives here. That plastic body saves some weight. It's less than 5 pounds, which is light considering its size. Unlike in ultrabook, the battery is removable and getting inside add more to its 4gigs of memory or swap out its slow spinning 500 gig hard drive for an SSD only requires a screw driver. The keyboard though not backlit is big and comfortable and has good key travel and it even boots quickly. So while it might not have the long battery life we've come to expect from a Haswell laptop or impressive performance, it's a solid budget-friendly laptop. I'm Josh Goldman and that's the Acer Aspire E1.

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